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Mariah Carey (1970)

Type :  

  Summary  

Mariah Carey is an American singer-songwriter, record producer, and actress. She made her recording debut in 1990 under the guidance of Columbia Records executive Tommy Mottola, and released her self-titled debut studio album, Mariah Carey. The album went multi-platinum and spawned four consecutive number one singles, on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart. After the success of the album, she won the Grammy Award for Best New Artist in 1991. Following her marriage to Mottola in 1993, a series of hit records established her position as Columbia's highest-selling act. Music Box , was certified diamond and became one of the best-selling albums of all time and Merry Christmas , eventually became the most sucessful holiday album. Daydream , made music history when the lead single "Fantasy" debuted at number one on the Billboard charts, making her the first female artist to accomplish a number one debut in the U.S. The second single, "One Sweet Day" a duet with Boyz II Men, spent a record sixteen weeks on top of the Billboard Hot 100, and remains the longest running number one song in US chart history.
During the recording of the album Carey began to deviate from her pop background, and slowly traversed into R&B and Hip-hop.
After her separation from Mottola, this musical change and personal transformation was clearly evident with the release of Butterfly , which she personally considered her best album.

Carey left Columbia in 2000, and signed a record-breaking $100 million recording contract with Virgin Records. In 2001, Carey ventured into film with Glitter . Before the film's release she suffered a physical and emotional breakdown and was hospitalized for severe exhaustion. Following the film's poor reception, she was bought out of her recording contract for $50 million, which led to a decline in her career.
She signed a multi-million dollar contract deal with Island Records in 2002, and after a relatively unsuccessful period, returned to the top of music charts with The Emancipation of Mimi . It became the best-selling album by a solo artist globally of that year, marked by the success of "We Belong Together", which became the most successful solo single of her music career, and was later named "Song of the Decade" by Billboard. Following Carey's success with The Emancipation of Mimi, she once again ventured into film, and starred in Precious . Her role in the film was met with critical acclaim, she was awarded the "Breakthrough Performance Award" at the Palm Springs International Film Festival, and a NAACP Image Award nomination.

In a career spanning over two decades, Carey has sold more than 200 million records worldwide, making her one of the best-selling music artists of all time. In 1998, she was honored as the world's best-selling recording artist of the 1990s at the World Music Awards. Carey was also named the best-selling female artist of the millennium in 2000. According to the Recording Industry Association of America , she is the third best-selling female artist in the United States, with 63 million certified albums. With the release of "Touch My Body" , Carey gained her eighteenth number one single in the United States, more than any other solo artist. Additionally, she remains the best-selling international artist in Japan, and holds the top four best-selling albums by a non-Asian artist.
Aside from her commercial accomplishments, Carey has won five Grammy Awards, seventeen World Music Awards, eleven American Music Awards and twenty-eight Billboard Music Awards. As part of her artistry, she is often cited as one of the most influential voices in pop music, and is credited for her five-octave vocal range, power, melismatic style and signature use of the whistle register.

  Biography  

 1970–87: Early life and struggles
Mariah Carey was born in Huntington, Long Island, New York, on March 27, 1970. The singer's father, Alfred Roy, was of African American and Venezuelan descent, while her mother, Patricia (née Hickey), was an Irish American. Patricia's father had died while she was young; however, she inherited his passion for music. She developed a career as an occasional opera singer and vocal coach, and met Alfred in 1960. As he began earning a living as an aeronautical engineer, the couple wed later that year, and moved into a small suburb in New York. After the pair's elopement, Patricia's family disowned her, due to marrying a man of color. Carey later explained that growing up, she felt a notion of neglect from her maternal family, a mark that affected her greatly: "So later I was like, 'Well, where does this leave me? Am I a bad person?' You know. Its still not that common to be a multi-racial person, but I'm happy with the combination of things that I am." During the interval of years in between Allison and the singer's birth, the Carey family experienced personal struggles within the community due to their ethnicity. Carey's name was derived from the song "They Call the Wind Mariah", originally from the 1951 Broadway musical Paint Your Wagon. When Carey was only three years of age, her parents divorced, due to the increasingly strenuous nature of their marriage.


After their separation, Carey's older sister Allison moved in with her father, while the other two children remained with Patricia. As the years passed, Carey would grow apart from her father, and would later stop seeing him altogether. By the age of four, Carey recalled that she had begun to sneak the radio under her covers at night, and just sing from her heart, and try and find peace within the music. During elementary school, she would excel in subjects that she enjoyed, such as literature, art and music, while not finding interest in others. After several years of financial struggling, Patricia earned enough money to move her family into a stable and more affluent sector in New York. Carey had already enrolled in Greenlawn's Harborfields High School. She had begun writing poems, and adding melodies to them, thus starting as a singer-songwriter. Even from a young age, Carey excelled in her music, and demonstrated usage of the whistle register, though only beginning to master and control it through her training with her mother. Though opening her daughter to the world of classical opera, Patricia never pressured Carey to pursue a career in that type of genre, as she never seemed interested in that world of music. Carey recalled that she kept her singer-songwriter works a secret and noted that Patricia had "never been a pushy mom. She never said, 'Give it more of an operatic feel'. I respect opera like crazy, but it didn't influence me."

Towards the end of her high school Carey developed a relationship with Gavin Christopher, with whom she shared musical aspirations. The song-writing duo, however, needed an assistant who could play the keyboard; "We called someone and he couldn't come, so by accident we stumbled upon Ben . Ben came to the studio, and he really couldn't play the keyboards very well - her was really more of a drummer - but after that day, we kept in touch, and we sort of clicked as writers." The two began writing and composing songs in his father's store basement, during Carey's senior year. After composing their first song together, "Here We Go Round Again", which Carey described as having a Motown-vibe, they continued writing material for a full length demo. After Carey's graduation her mother wed once more, which ultimately prompted her to move out from Patricia's apartment, and into a one bedroom studio in Manhattan, which she shared with four other female students. During this period, Carey worked several jobs as a waitress, usually getting fired after two week intervals. While requiring work to pay for her rent, Carey's mind and effort still remained with her musical ambitions, as she continued working late into the night with Margulies, in hopes of completing a demo take that could be passed on to record executives. After completing her four song demo tape, Carey tried to pass it to music labels, but was met with failure each time. It was then she was introduced to rising pop singer of Puerto Rican descent, Brenda K. Starr.

 1988–92: Recording debut and career beginnings


As Carey's friendship with Starr grew, so did her interest in helping Carey succeed in the industry. On a Friday night in November 1987, Carey accompanied Starr to a record executives gala, where she handed her demo tape to Tommy Mottola, head of Columbia Records, who listened to it on his way back home. After the first two songs, he became so enamored at the sound and quality of Carey's voice that he turned around returned to the event, only to find that she had left. In what has been widely described by critics as a modern day Cinderella-like tale, after searching Carey for two weeks, and eventually contacting her through Starr's management, he immediately signed her and began mapping out her debut into mainstream music. While she maintained that she wanted to continue working with Margulies, Mottola enlisted top producers of the time, including Ric Wake, Narada Michael Walden and Rhett Lawrence. Mottola and the staff at Columbia had planned to market Carey as the main female pop artist on their roster, competing with the likes of Whitney Houston and Madonna, who were signed to Arista and Sire Records respectively. After the completion of the album, titled Mariah Carey, Columbia spent an upward of $1 million to promote it. Though opening with weak sales, the album eventually reached the top of the Billboard 200, after Carey's exposure at the 33rd annual Grammy Awards. Mariah Carey stayed atop the charts for eleven consecutive weeks, and she won the Best New Artist, and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance trophies for her single "Vision of Love". The album yielded an additional three number one singles on the Billboard Hot 100, following the four week number-one run of "Vision of Love". Carey became the first artist since The Jackson 5 to have their first four singles reach number one. Mariah Carey finished as the best-selling album in the United States of 1991, while totaling sales of over 15 million copies.

Only months after the Mariah Carey began its descent on the charts, Carey already began working on her second studio effort, eventually titled Emotions . The album, as Carey described it, payed homage to Motown soul music, as she felt the need to pay tribute to the type of music and genre that truly influenced her as a struggling child. For the project, Carey worked with Walter Afanasieff, who only had a small role on her debut, as well as Clivillés and Cole, from the dance group C+C Music Factory. However, Carey's relationship with Margulies deteriorated over a contract Carey had signed prior to her signing with Columbia, agreeing to split not only the songwriting royalties from the songs, but half of her earnings as well. However, when the time came to write music for Emotions, Sony officials made it clear he would only be paid the fair amount given to co-writers on an album. Subsequently, Margulies filed a lawsuit against Sony which ultimately led to their parting of ways. On September 17, 1991, Emotions was released around the world, and was accepted by critics as a more mature album than its predecessor. While praised for Carey's improved songwriting, production and new sound, the album was criticized for its material, which many felt was noticeably weaker than her debut. Though the album managed sales of over eight million copies globally, Emotions failed to reach the commercial and critical heights of its predecessor.

As they had done after the release of her debut, critics once again questioned whether Carey would embark on a world tour, in promotion for her material. Although Carey explained that due to her stage fright, and the general strenuous nature of her songs, a tour sounded very daunting, speculation grew that Carey was a "studio worm", and that she wasn't capable of producing the perfect pitch and 5-octave vocal range for which she was known. In hopes of putting any claims of her being a manufactured artist to rest, Carey and Walter Afanasieff decided to book an appearance on MTV Unplugged, a television program aired by MTV. The show's purpose was to present name artists, and feature them "unplugged" or stripped of studio equipment. While Carey felt strongly of her more soulful and powerful songs, it was decided that her most popular content to that point would be included. Days prior to the show's taping, Carey and Afanasieff thought of adding a cover version of an older song, in order to provide something different and unexpected. They chose "I'll Be There", a song made popular by The Jackson 5 in 1970, rehearsing it few times before the night of the show. On March 16, 1992, Carey recorded a seven-piece set-list at Kaufman Astoria Studios in Queens, New York. The revue was met with critical acclaim, leading to it being aired over three times as often as an average episode would. The revue's success tempted Sony officials to use it as some form of an album. Sony decided to release it as an EP, selling for a reduced price due to its shorter length. The EP proved to be a success, shunning critics and speculations that Carey was just a studio artist, and was given a triple-Platinum certification by the Recording Industry Association of America , and managed Gold and Platinum certfications in several European markets.

 1993–96: First marriage, Music Box and Daydream

During early 1993, Carey began working on her third studio album, Music Box. After Emotions failed to achieve the commercial heights of her debut album, Carey and Columbia came to the agreement that the next album would contain a more pop influenced sound, in order to appeal to a wider audience. During Carey's writing sessions, she began working mostly with Afanasieff, with whom she co-wrote and produced most of Music Box. During the album's recording, Carey and Mottola became romantically involved. They wed in a lavish ceremony on June 5, 1993, with several high profile guests including Barbra Streisand, Billy Joel, Gloria Estefan and Ozzy Osbourne. One month later, on August 31, Music Box was released around the world, debuting at number-one on the Billboard 200. The album was met with mixed reception from music critics; while many praised the album's pop influence and strong content, others felt that Carey made less usage of her acclaimed vocal range. Ron Wynn from Allmusic described Carey's different form of singing on the album: "It was wise for Carey to display other elements of her approach, but sometimes excessive spirit is preferable to an absence of passion." The album's second single, "Hero", would eventually come to be one of Carey's most popular and inspirational songs of her career. The song became Carey's eighth chart topper in the United States, and began expanding Carey's popularity throughout Europe. With the release of the album's third single, Carey achieved several career milestones. Her cover of Badfinger's "Without You" became her first number one single in several European countries, including Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, Ireland, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Due to the song's success, Music Box spent prolonged periods at number one on the album charts of several countries, and eventually became one of the best-selling albums of all time, with worldwide sales of over 32 million copies. After declining to tour for her past two albums, Carey agreed to embark on a short stateside string of concerts, titled the Music Box Tour. Spanning only six dates across North America, the short but successful tour was a large step for Carey, who dreaded the hassle of touring.

Following Music Box, Carey took a relatively large period of time away from the public eye, and began working on an unknown project throughout 1994. The project was kept very secretive until Billboard announced on their October issue, that Carey would release a holiday album later that year. In late 1994, Carey recorded a duet with Luther Vandross; a cover of Lionel Richie and Diana Ross's "Endless Love". By that point, Columbia felt Carey had already established herself as a pop singer, and vocalist, but wanted to to try and feature her as more of an entertainer. Through the release of Merry Christmas, Columbia hoped that audiences would buy Carey's material solely for her name and reputation, and squash fears of her being a typical pop singer. The album was released on November 1, 1994, on the same day that the album's first single, "All I Want for Christmas Is You", was released. The album eventually became the best-selling Christmas album of all time, with global sales reaching over 15 million copies. Additionally, "All I Want for Christmas Is You" was critically lauded, and is considered "one of the few worthy modern additions to the holiday canon." Rolling Stone described it as a "holiday standard", and ranked it fourth on its Greatest Rock and Roll Christmas Songs list. Commercially, it became the best-selling holiday ringtone of all time, and the best-selling single by a non-Asian artist in Japan, selling over 2.1 million units . By the end of the holiday season of 1994, Carey and Afanasieff had already begun writing material for her next studio album, which would be released in the fall of of the following year.


Released on October 3, 1995, Daydream combined the pop sensibilities of Music Box with downbeat R&B and hip hop influences. The album's second single, "One Sweet Day" was inspired by the death of Cole, as well as her sister Allison, who had contracted AIDS. The song remained atop the Hot 100 for a record-breaking sixteen weeks, and became the longest running number one song in history. Daydream became her biggest-selling album in the United States, and became her second album to be certified Diamond by the RIAA, following Music Box. The album again was the best-seller by an international artist in Japan, shifting over 2.2 million copies, and eventually reaching global sales of over 25 million units. Critically, the album was heralded as Carey's best to date; The New York Times named it as one of 1995's best albums, and wrote, "best cuts bring R&B candy-making to a new peak of textural refinement Carey's songwriting has taken a leap forward and become more relaxed, sexier and less reliant on thudding clichés." Carey once again opted to embark on a short world tour titled Daydream World Tour. It had seven dates, three in Japan and four throughout Europe. When tickets went on sale, Carey set records when all 150,000 tickets for her three shows at Japan's largest stadium, Tokyo Dome sold out in under three hours, breaking the previous record help by The Rolling Stones. Due to the album's success, Carey won two awards at the American Music Awards for her solo efforts: Favorite Pop/Rock Female Artist and Favorite Soul/R&B Female Artist. Daydream and its singles were respectively nominated in six categories at the 38th Grammy Awards. Carey, along with Boyz II Men, opened the event with a performance of "One Sweet Day". However, Carey did not receive any award, prompting her to comment "What can you do? I will never be disappointed again. After I sat through the whole show and didn't win once, I can handle anything." In 1995, due to Daydream's enormous Japanese sales, Billboard declared Carey the "Artist of the Year" in Japan.

 1997–2000: New image and independence, Butterfly and Rainbow

After the release of Daydream and the success that followed, Carey began focusing on her personal life, which was a constant struggle at the time. Carey's relationship with Mottola began to deteriorate, due to their growing creative differences in terms of her albums, as well as his controlling nature. With each following album, and her continual established fame and popularity, Carey began to take more initiative and control with her music, and started infusing more genres into her work. During mid-1997, Carey was well underway, writing and recording material for her next album, Butterfly . She sought to work with other producers and writers other than Afansieff, such as Sean Combs, Kamaal Fareed, Missy Elliott and Jean Claude Oliver and Samuel Barnes from Trackmasters. During the album's recording, Carey and Mottola separated, with Carey citing is as her way of achieving freedom, and a new lease on life. Aside from the album's different approach, critics took notice of Carey's altered style of singing, which she describe as breathy vocals. Her new-found style of singing was met with mixed reception; some critics felt is was a sign of maturity, that she didn't feel the need to always show off her upper range, while others felt it was a sign of her weakening and waning voice. The album's lead single, "Honey", and its accompanying music video, introduced a more overtly sexual image than Carey had ever demonstrated, and furthered reports of her freedom from Mottola. Carey stated that Butterfly marked the point when she attained full creative control over her music. However, she added, "I don't think that it's that much of a departure from what I've done in the past It's not like I went psycho and thought I would be a rapper. Personally, this album is about doing whatever the hell I wanted to do." Growing creative differences with producer Afanasieff continued, and eventually ended their working relationship, after collaborating on most of Carey's material. Reviews for Butterfly were generally positive: Rolling Stone wrote, "It's not as if Carey has totally dispensed with her old saccharine, Houston-style balladry but the predominant mood of 'Butterfly' is one of coolly erotic reverie. Except "Outside" the album sounds very 1997. Carey has spread her wings and she's ready to fly", Allmusic editor, Stephen Thomas Erlewine described Carey's vocals as "sultrier and more controlled than ever", and heralded Butterfly as her "best record and illustrates that Carey continues to improve and refine her music, which makes her a rarity among her '90s peers." The album was a commercial success, although not to the degree of her previous three albums.


Toward the turn of the millennium, Carey began developing other projects, many of which she wasn't able to during her marriage. On April 14, 1998, Carey partook in the VH1 Divas benefit concert, where she sang alongside Aretha Franklin, Celine Dion, Shania Twain, Gloria Estefan and Carole King. Carey had begun developing a film project All That Glitters, later re-titled to simply Glitter, and intended her songwriting to other projects, such as Men in Black and How the Grinch Stole Christmas . After Glitter fell into developmental hell, Carey postponed the project, and began writing material for a new album. The executives at Sony Music, the parent company of Carey's label Columbia, wanted her to prepare a greatest hits collection in time for the commercially favorable holiday season. However, they disagreed as to what content and singles should constitute the album. Sony wanted to release an album that featured her number one singles in the United States, and her international chart toppers on the European versions, void of any new material, while Carey felt that a compilation album should reflect on her most personal songs, not just her most commercial. She felt that not including any new material would result in cheating her fans, therefore including four new songs that she had recorded. While compromised, Carey often expressed distaste towards the album's song selection, expressing her disappointment in the omission of her "favorite songs". The album titled, #1's , featured a duet with Whitney Houston, "When You Believe", and was included on the soundtrack for The Prince of Egypt . During the development of All That Glitters, Carey had been introduced to DreamWorks producer Jeffrey Katzenberg, who asked her if she would record the song "When You Believe" for the soundtrack to the animated film The Prince of Egypt. In an interview with Ebony, Houston described working with Carey, as well as their growing friendship: "Mariah and I got along very great. We had never talked and never sang together before. We just had a chance for camaraderie, singer-to-singer, artist-to-artist, that kind of thing. We just laughed and talked and laughed and talked and sang in between that ... It's good to know that two ladies of soul and music can still be friends." #1's became a phenomenon in Japan, selling over one million copies in its opening week, and placing as the only international artist to accomplish this feat. When describing Carey's popularity in Japan throughout the 1990s, author Chris Nickson compared it to Beatlemania in the 1960s. The album sold over 3.25 million copies in Japan after only the first three months, and holds the record as the best-selling album by a non-Asian artist, while amassing global sales of over 17 million copies.

During the spring of 1999, Carey began working on the final album of her record contract with Sony, her ex-husband's label. During this time, Carey's strained relationship with Sony affected her work with writing partner Afanasieff, who had worked extensively with Carey throughout the first half of her career. She felt Mottola was trying to separate her from Afanasieff, in hopes of keeping their relationship permanently strained. Due to the pressure and the awkward relationship Carey had now developed with Sony, she completed the album in a period of three months in the summer of 1999, quicker than any of her other albums. The album, titled Rainbow , found Carey once again working with a new array of music producers and songwriters, such as Jay-Z and DJ Clue. Carey also wrote two ballads with David Foster and Diane Warren, whom she seemingly used to replace Afanasieff. Rainbow was released on November 2, 1999, to the highest first week sales of her career at the time, however debuting at number two on the Billboard 200. Throughout early-2000, Carey's troubled relationship with Columbia grew, as they halted promotion after the album's first two singles. They felt Rainbow didn't have any strong single to be released, whereas Carey wanted a ballad regarding personal and inner strength released. The difference in opinion led to a very public feud, as Carey began posting messages on her webpage in early and mid-2000, telling fans inside information on the dispute, as well as instructing them to request "Can't Take That Away (Mariah's Theme)" on radio stations. One of the messages Carey left on her page read: "Basically, a lot of you know the political situation in my professional career is not positive. It's been really, really hard. I don't even know if this message is going to get to you because I don't know if they want you to hear this. I'm getting a lot of negative feedback from certain corporate people. But I am not willing to give up." Fearing to lose their label's highest seller, Sony chose to release the song. Carey, initially content with the agreement, soon found out that the song had only been given a very limited and low-promotion release, which made charting extremely difficult and unlikely. Critical reception of Rainbow was generally enthusiastic, with the Sunday Herald saying that the album "sees her impressively tottering between soul ballads and collaborations with R&B heavyweights like Snoop Doggy Dogg and Usher It's a polished collection of pop-soul." Vibe magazine expressed similar sentiments, writing, "She pulls out all stops Rainbow will garner even more adoration". Though a commercial success, Rainbow became Carey's lowest selling album to that point in her career.

 2001–04: Glitter; personal and professional struggles


After she received Billboard's Artist of the Decade Award and the World Music Award for Best-Selling Female Artist of the Millennium, Carey parted from Columbia and signed a record-breaking $100 million five-album recording contract with Virgin Records , Carey was given full conceptual and creative control over the project. She opted to record an album partly mixed with 1980s influenced disco and other similar genres, in order to go hand-in-hand with the film's setting. She often stated that Columbia had regarded her as a commodity, with her separation from Mottola exacerbating her relations with label executives. Just a few months later, in July, 2001, it was widely reported that Carey had suffered a physical and emotional breakdown. She had left messages on her website that complained of being overworked, and her relationship with the Latin icon Luis Miguel ended. In an interview the following year, she said, "I was with people who didn't really know me and I had no personal assistant. I'd do interviews all day long and get two hours of sleep a night, if that." Due to the pressure from the media, her heavy work schedule and the split from Miguel, Carey began posting a series of disturbing messages on her official website, and displayed erratic behavior on several live promotional outings. On July 19, 2001, Carey made a surprise appearance on the MTV program Total Request Live . As the show's host Carson Daly began taping following a commercial break, Carey came out pushing an ice cream cart while wearing a large men's shirt, and began a striptease, in which she shed her shirt to reveal a tight yellow and green ensemble. While she later revealed that Daly was aware of her presence in the building prior to her appearance, Carey's appearance on TRL garnered strong media attention. Only days later, Carey began posting irregular voice notes and messages on her official website: "I'm trying to understand things in life right now and so I really don't feel that I should be doing music right now. What I'd like to do is just a take a little break or at least get one night of sleep without someone popping up about a video. All I really want is just be me and that's what I should have done in the first place ... I don't say this much but guess what, I don't take care of myself." Following the quick removal of the messages, Berger commented that Carey had been "obviously exhausted and not thinking clearly" when she posted the letters.

On July 26, she was suddenly hospitalized, citing "extreme exhaustion" and a "physical and emotional breakdown". News websites and programs began reporting how Carey threatened to commit suicide by slitting her wrists the night before, and how Patricia, Carey's mother, hastily called for help. When questioned regarding Carey's suicidal rumor, Berger claimed she had broken dishes out of desperation, and as a result, accidentally cut her hands and feet. Carey was inducted at an un-disclosed hospital in Connecticut, and remained hospitalized and under doctor's care for two weeks, followed by an extended absence from the public. Following the heavy media coverage surrounding Carey's publicized breakdown and hospitalization, Virgin Records and 20th Century Fox delayed the release of both Glitter, as well as its soundtrack of the same name. Consequently, critics suggested that in delaying Glitter, hype for the project would have largely subsided, and would possibly hurt both ticket and album sales. When discussing the project's weak commercial reaction, Carey blamed both her frame of mind during the time of its release, its postponement, as well as the soundtrack having been released on September 11. Critics panned Glitter, as well as its accompanying soundtrack; both were unsuccessful commercially. The accompanying soundtrack album, Glitter, became Carey's lowest-selling album to that point. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch dismissed it as "an absolute mess that'll go down as an annoying blemish on a career that, while not always critically heralded, was at least nearly consistently successful." Following the negative cloud that was ensuing Carey's personal life at the time, as well as the project's poor reception, her unprecedented $100 million five-album record deal with Virgin Records was bought out for $50 million. Soon after, Carey flew to Capri, Italy for a period of five months, in which she began writing material for her new album, stemming from all the personal experiences she had endured throughout the past year. Carey later said that her time at Virgin was "a complete and total stress-fest I made a total snap decision which was based on money and I never make decisions based on money. I learned a big lesson from that." Later that year, she signed a contract with Island Records, valued at more than $24 million, and launched the record label MonarC. To add further to Carey's emotional burdens, her father, with whom she had little contact since childhood, died of cancer that year.


In 2002, Carey was cast in the independent film, WiseGirls, alongside Mira Sorvino and Melora Walters, who co-starred as waitresses at a mobster-operated restaurant. It premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, and received generally negative critical response, though Carey's portrayal of the character was praised; Roger Friedman of Fox News referred to her as "a Thelma Ritter for the new millennium", and wrote , "Her line delivery is sharp and she manages to get the right laughs". Later that year, Carey performed the American national anthem to rave reviews at the Super Bowl XXXVI at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. Towards the end of 2002, Carey released her next studio album Charmbracelet, which she said marked "a new lease on life" for her. Though released in the wake of Glitter and Carey's return to the music scene, sales of Charmbracelet were moderate and the quality of Carey's vocals came under criticism. Joan Anderson from The Boston Globe declared the album "the worst of her career, and revealed a voice no longer capable of either gravity-defying gymnastics or soft coos", while Allmusic editor Stephen Thomas Erlewine expressed similar sentiments and wrote, "What is a greater problem is that Mariah's voice is shot, sounding in tatters throughout the record. She can no longer coo or softly croon nor can she perform her trademark gravity-defying vocal runs." In an attempt to "relaunch" her career following the poor reception to Glitter, as well as her breakdown, Carey announced a world tour in April 2003. Lasting over eight months, the Charmbracelet World Tour: An Intimate Evening with Mariah Carey, became her most extensive tour to date, spanning sixty-nine shows around the world. Throughout the United States, the shows were done in smaller theaters, and something more Broadway-influenced, "It's much more intimate so you'll feel like you had an experience. You experience a night with me." However, while smaller productions were booked throughout the tour's stateside leg, Carey performed at stadiums in Asia and Europe, performing for a crowd of over 35,000 in Manila, 50,000 in Malaysia, and to over 70,000 people in China. In the United Kingdom, it became Carey's first tour to feature shows outside of London, booking arena stops in Glasgow, Birmingham and Manchester. Charmbracelet World Tour: An Intimate Evening with Mariah Carey garnered generally positive reviews from music critics and concert goers, with many complimenting the quality of Carey's live vocals, as well as the production as a whole.

 2005–07: Return to prominence with The Emancipation of Mimi
Throughout 2004, Carey focused on composing material for her tenth studio album, The Emancipation of Mimi . The album found Carey working predominantly with Jermaine Dupri, as well as Bryan-Michael Cox, Manuel Seal, The Neptunes, Kanye West and Carey's longtime collaborator, Jermaine Dupri. The album debuted atop the charts in several countries, and was warmly accepted by critics. Caroline Sullivan of The Guardian defined it as "cool, focused and urban the first Mariah Carey tunes in years which I wouldn't have to be paid to listen to again", while USA Today's Elysa Gardner wrote, "The ballads and midtempo numbers that truly reflect the renewed confidence of a songbird who has taken her shots and kept on flying." The album's second single, "We Belong Together", became a "career re-defining" song for Carey, at a point when many critics had considered her career over. music critics heralded the song as her "return to form", as well as the "return of The Voice", while many felt it would revive "faith" in Carey's potential as a balladeer. "We Belong Together" broke several records in the United States and became Carey's sixteenth chart topper on the Billboard Hot 100. After staying at number one for fourteen non-consecutive weeks, the song became the second longest running number one song in US chart history, behind Carey's 1996 collaboration with Boyz II Men, "One Sweet Day". Billboard listed it as the "song of the decade" and the ninth most popular song of all time. Besides its chart success, the song broke several airplay records, and according to Nielsen BDS, gathered both the largest one-day and one-week audiences in history.


During the week of September 25, 2005, Carey set another record, becoming the first female to occupy the first two spots atop the Hot 100, as "We Belong Together" remained at number one, and her next single, "Shake It Off" held the number two spot. On the Billboard Hot 100 Year-end Chart of 2005, the song was declared the number one song, a career first for Carey. Billboard listed "We Belong Together" ninth on The Billboard Hot 100 All-Time Top Songs and was declared the most popular song of the 2000s decade by Billboard. The album earned ten Grammy Award nominations in 2006–07: eight in 2006 for the original release , and two in 2007 for the Ultra Platinum Edition. In 2006 Carey won Best Contemporary R&B Album for The Emancipation of Mimi, as well as Best Female R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B Song for "We Belong Together". The Emancipation of Mimi was the best-selling album in the United States in 2005, with nearly five million units sold. It was the first album by a solo female artist to become the year's best-selling album since Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill in 1996. At the end of 2005, the IFPI reported that The Emancipation of Mimi had sold more than 7.7 million copies globally, and was the second best-selling album of the year after Coldplay's X&Y. It was the best-selling album worldwide by a solo and female artist. To date, The Emancipation of Mimi has sold over 12 million copies worldwide. At the 48th Grammy Awards, Carey performed a medley of "We Belong Together" and "Fly Like a Bird". The performance earned the night's only standing ovation, prompting Teri Hatcher, who was presenting the next award, to exclaim, "It's like we've all just been saved!"

In support of the album, Carey embarked on her first headlining tour in three years, named The Adventures of Mimi: The Voice, The Hits, The Tour after a "Carey-centric fan's" music diary. The tour spanned forty stops, with thirty-two in the United States and Canada, two in Africa, and six in Japan. Tickets for the tour went on sale on June 2, 2006, with prices ranging from $95 to $150 USD, and featured Carey's long-time friend Randy Jackson as the tour's musical director. Carey's performances consisted of old songs from her catalog as well as her newest singles. The tour received warm critical reaction from music critics and concert goers, many of which celebrated the quality of Carey's live vocals, as well as the show as a whole. However, critics felt the show's excesses, such as Carey's often costume changes and pre-filmed clips, were unnecessary distractions. The tour proved successful, with Carey playing to over 60,000 fans in the two stop in Tunis alone. Midway through the tour, Carey booked a two-night concert engagement in Hong Kong, which was scheduled to take place following her Japanese shows. The shows were cancelled, however, after tickets went on sale. According to Carey's then-manager Benny Medina, the cancellation was due to the concert promoter's refusal to pay Carey her agreed-upon compensation. The promoter instead blamed poor ticket sales and "Carey's outrageous demands". Carey ultimately sued the promoter, claiming $1 million in damages due to the concert's abrupt cancellation.

  2007–09: E=MC², second marriage, and acting breakthrough


By spring 2007, Carey had begun to work on her eleventh studio album, E=MC², in a private villa in Anguilla. When asked regarding the album title's meaning, Carey said "Einstein's theory? Physics? Me? Hello! ...Of course I'm poking fun." She characterized it as "Emancipation of Mimi to the second power", and said that she was "freer" on this album than any other. Although E=MC² was well received by most critics, some of them criticized it for being very similar to the formula used on The Emancipation of Mimi. Two weeks before the album's release, "Touch My Body", the record's lead single reached the top position on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming Carey's eighteenth number one and making her the solo artist with the most number one singles in United States history, surpassing the record held by Elvis Presley. Additionally, it gave Carey her 79th week atop the Hot 100, tying her with Presley as the artist with the most weeks at number one in the Billboard chart history." E=MC² debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 with 463,000 copies sold, the biggest opening week sales of her career. With six number one albums, Carey is now tied with Britney Spears and Janet Jackson in the United States for the third most number one albums for a female artist, behind Madonna with seven and Barbra Streisand's nine chart toppers. In 2008, Billboard magazine ranked her at number six on the "Billboard Hot 100 All-Time Top Artists", making Carey the second most successful female artist in the history of the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Carey and actor/comedian Nick Cannon met while they shot her music video for her second single, "Bye Bye", on an island off the coast of Antigua. On April 30, 2008, Carey married Cannon at her private estate on Windermere Island in The Bahamas. Carey had a cameo appearance in Adam Sandler's 2008 film You Don't Mess with the Zohan, playing herself. On January 20, 2009, Carey performed "Hero" at the Neighborhood Inaugural Ball after Barack Obama was sworn as America's first African-American president. On July 7, 2009, Carey – alongside Trey Lorenz – performed her version of The Jackson 5 song "I'll Be There" at the memorial service for Michael Jackson. At the sight of Jackson's casket, Carey's voice, overwhelmed with emotion, cracked in the opening line of the song. She later apologized on The Today Show, explaining how she did her best effort despite the circumstances.


In 2009, she appeared as a social worker in Precious, the movie adaptation of the 1996 novel Push by Sapphire. The film garnered mostly positive reviews from critics, as has Carey's performance. Variety described her acting as "pitch-perfect". Precious won awards at both the Sundance Film Festival and the Toronto Film Festival, receiving top honors there. In January 2010, Carey won the Breakthrough Actress Performance Award for her role in Precious at the Palm Springs International Film Festival. September 25, 2009, Carey's twelfth studio album, Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel, was released. Reception for the album was generally positive, but mixed in certain aspects; Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic called it "her most interesting album in a decade", while Jon Caramanica from The New York Times criticized Carey's vocal performances, decrying her overuse of her softer vocal registers at the expense of her more powerful lower and upper registers. Commercially, the album debuted at number three on the Billboard 200, and became the lowest-selling studio album of her career. The album's lead single, "Obsessed", became her 40th entry on the Billboard Hot 100 and her highest debut on the chart since "My All" in 1998. The song debuted at number eleven and peaked at number seven on the chart, and became Carey's 27th US top-ten hit, tying her with Elton John and Janet Jackson as the fifth most top-ten hits. Within hours after the song's release, various outlets speculated that its target was rapper Eminem, in response to his song "Bagpipes from Baghdad", in which he taunted Carey's husband, Nick Cannon. According to MTV, Carey alludes to drug problems in "Obsessed", which Eminem opened up about on his sixth studio album, Relapse. The album's follow-up single, a cover of Foreigner's "I Want to Know What Love Is", failed to achieve any significant chart success in the United States, or much throughout Europe, but managed to break airplay records in Brazil. The song spent 27 weeks atop the Brasil Hot 100 Airplay, making it the longest running song in the chart's history. On December 31, 2009, Carey embarked her seventh concert tour, Angels Advocate Tour, which visited the United States and Canada. Though stateside, the tour spanned few international dates, such as in Brazil and Singapore, where Carey played to over 100,000 spectators. On January 30, 2010, it was announced that Carey would release a remix album of Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel; titled Angels Advocate (an R&B remix album featuring a collection of newly remixed duets with some of Carey's favorite artists). The album was slated for a March 30, 2010 release, but were eventually cancelled.

 2010–present: Merry Christmas II You, motherhood and new album


Following the cancellation of the Angels Advocate, it was announced that Carey would return to the studio to start work on her thirteenth studio album. It was later revealed that it would be her second Christmas album, the follow-up to Merry Christmas , which became the best-selling Holiday album of all time. Long time collaborators for the project include Jermaine Dupri, Johntá Austin, Bryan-Michael Cox and Randy Jackson, as well as new collaborators such as Marc Shaiman. Dupri stated that a single would be released alongside the album before the year's end. During a press conference in Seoul, South Korea, in August 2010, Island Def Jam executive Matt Voss announced that the album would be out on November 2, 2010. and would include six new songs and a remix of her classic hit "All I Want for Christmas Is You". The album, titled Merry Christmas II You, was released alongside an accompanying DVD, and was sent to retailers on November 2, 2010. Merry Christmas II You debuted at number four on the Billboard 200 with sales of 56,000 copies, surpassing the opening week sales of Carey's previous holiday album of 45,000 copies 16 years prior. It also became Carey's 16th top ten album in the United States. The album debuted at number one on the R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, making it only the second Christmas album to top this chart.

In May 2010, Carey dropped out of her planned appearance in For Colored Girls, the film adaptation of the play For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf, citing medical reasons. After much media speculation, Carey confirmed on October 28, 2010 that she and Cannon were expecting a baby, and that she would be due in the Spring of 2011. Carey also revealed that she had been pregnant shortly after her wedding with Cannon, but she miscarried. On April 30, 2011, the couple's third wedding anniversary, Carey gave birth to fraternal twins via C-section. The twins were named Monroe, after Marilyn Monroe, and Moroccan Scott, after Cannon proposed to Carey in her Moroccan-style room; Scott is Cannon's middle name and his grandmother's maiden name. On February 11, 2011, Carey announced on HSN, that she recorded a duet with Tony Bennett for his upcoming "Duets" album, titled "When Do The Bells Ring For Me". Following the birth of their children, Cannon revealed during an interview with Billboard that Carey had already begun working on a new record. Cannon said "She's been working away, and we have a studio in the crib, and has totally inspired her on so many different levels. You're definitely gonna see some new phenomenal music from Mariah" and assured Carey would plan on releasing it by the end of the year. In October 2011, Carey announced that she re-recorded her song "All I Want for Christmas Is You" with Justin Bieber as a duet for his Christmas album, Under the Mistletoe. On November 5, 2011, Carey and Bieber filmed a music video for the duet at the Macy's in New York City. On October 21, 2011, a pre-taped interview with Barbara Walters aired on ABC's 20/20, during the interview Carey and Cannon allowed the cameras to photograph/film twins Moroccan and Monroe for the first time ever. In November 2011, Carey was included in the remix to the mixtape single "Warning" by Uncle Murda, the remix also features 50 Cent and Young Jeezy. That same month, Carey announced that she and John Legend collaborated on a duet, "When Christmas Comes", which was originally part of Carey's 2010 holiday album "Merry Christmas II You".

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  Played TV shows  

  Albums 

  Tracks  

Name Duration Released
Oh Santa 03:31 11/11/2010
Christmas Time Is in the Air Again 03:02 02/11/2010
O Little Town of Bethlehem 03:32 02/11/2010
Auld Lang Syne 03:48 02/11/2010
One Child 04:26 02/11/2010
O Come All Ye Faithful 03:38 02/11/2010
Charlie Brown Christmas 02:49 02/11/2010
Here Comes Santa Claus 03:28 02/11/2010
When Christmas Comes 04:46 02/11/2010
The First Noel 04:33 02/11/2010
I Remember 04:02 03/03/2009
Standing O 03:59 28/01/2009
I Want to Know What Love Is 03:40 28/01/2009
Inseparable 03:33 28/01/2009
Languishing 02:34 28/01/2009
Ribbon 04:20 28/01/2009
Angels Cry 03:54 28/01/2009
Candy Bling 04:02 28/01/2009
Angel (Introdução) 01:04 28/01/2009
H.A.T.E.U. 04:27 28/01/2009
The Impossible 04:00 28/01/2009
Obsessed 04:01 28/01/2009
More Than Just Friends 03:37 28/01/2009
Betcha Gon' Know 04:00 28/01/2009
Up Out My Face 04:00 28/01/2009
It's a Wrap 04:00 28/01/2009
4real4real 04:13 11/2008
Heat 03:34 11/2008
Cruise Control 03:32 15/04/2008
O.O.C. 03:26 15/04/2008
Migrate 04:17 15/04/2008
Thanx 4 Nothin' 03:05 15/04/2008
Last Kiss 03:36 15/04/2008
I'll Be Lovin' U Long Time 03:01 15/04/2008
Love Story 03:56 15/04/2008
I'm That Chick 03:31 15/04/2008
I Wish You Well 04:35 15/04/2008
Side Effects 04:22 15/04/2008
Bye Bye 04:27 15/04/2008
I Stay in Love 03:32 15/04/2008
For the Record 03:26 15/04/2008
Touch My Body 03:27 12/02/2008
My All/My All Club Remix 00:00 04/12/2007
Don't Forget About Us 00:00 04/12/2007
To the Floor 03:27 08/2006
One and Only 03:14 08/2006
I Wish You Knew 03:34 12/04/2005
Shake It Off 03:52 12/04/2005
Your Girl 02:46 12/04/2005
We Belong Together 03:21 12/04/2005
Circles 03:30 12/04/2005
It's Like That 03:23 12/04/2005
Twista 03:14 12/04/2005
Get Your Number 03:15 12/04/2005
Fly Like a Bird 03:53 12/04/2005
Stay The Night 03:57 12/04/2005
Joy Ride 04:03 12/04/2005
Say Somethin' 03:44 12/04/2005
Nelly 03:27 12/04/2005
Mine Again 04:01 12/04/2005
U Like This 08:48 2004
Through the Rain 04:48 03/12/2002
You Had Your Chance 04:22 03/12/2002
My Saving Grace 04:09 03/12/2002
Clown 03:17 03/12/2002
I Only Wanted 03:38 03/12/2002
Sunflowers for Alfred Roy 02:59 03/12/2002
You Got Me 04:22 03/12/2002
Bringin' on the Heartbreak 04:34 03/12/2002
Yours 05:06 03/12/2002
Subtle Invitation 04:27 03/12/2002
The One 04:08 03/12/2002
Irresistible 05:04 03/12/2002
Boy 05:14 03/12/2002
Lullaby 04:56 03/12/2002
Endless Love 04:21 04/12/2001
Don't Stop (Funkin' 4 Jamaica) 03:37 11/09/2001
Didn't Mean to Turn You On 04:54 11/09/2001
If We 04:20 11/09/2001
Twister 02:26 11/09/2001
Lead the Way 03:53 11/09/2001
Never Too Far 04:21 11/09/2001
Loverboy 04:30 11/09/2001
Want You 04:43 11/09/2001
Last Night a DJ Saved My Life 06:43 11/09/2001
Reflections 03:20 11/09/2001
All My Life 05:09 11/09/2001
Theme from Mahogany (Do You Know Where You're Going To) 03:45 01/01/2000
Créditos 00:00 14/12/1999
Programme Start 00:00 14/12/1999
Heartbreaker/If You Should Ever Be Lonely 04:37 18/10/1999
Bliss 05:44 29/05/1999
Petals 04:23 29/05/1999
Can't Take That Away 04:33 29/05/1999
Did I Do That? 04:16 29/05/1999
Heartbreaker 04:46 29/05/1999
Crybaby 05:20 29/05/1999
Against All Odds 03:25 29/05/1999
Vulnerability 01:12 29/05/1999
X-Girlfriend 03:58 29/05/1999
After Tonight 04:16 29/05/1999
Thank God I Found You 04:17 29/05/1999
How Much 03:31 29/05/1999
Rainbow 01:32 29/05/1999
Introdução 00:00 24/04/1999
#1's Fan Appreciation Party 00:00 24/04/1999
Hopelessly Devoted to You 00:00 24/04/1999
Austrália 00:00 24/04/1999
Brenda K. Starr 00:00 24/04/1999
Japão 00:00 24/04/1999
Do You Know Where You're Going To? 03:47 16/11/1998
I Still Believe 03:56 16/11/1998
When You Believe 04:36 16/11/1998
Sweetheart 04:25 16/11/1998
Fly Me to the Moon 02:25 02/11/1998
Home 02:34 02/11/1998
My All 03:52 16/02/1997
The Beautiful Ones 06:59 16/02/1997
Butterfly 04:35 16/02/1997
Fly Away 03:49 16/02/1997
Honey 05:00 16/02/1997
Whenever You Call 04:21 16/02/1997
Close My Eyes 04:21 16/02/1997
Babydoll 05:07 16/02/1997
Breakdown 04:44 16/02/1997
Fourth of July 04:22 16/02/1997
The Roof 05:14 16/02/1997
Outside 04:47 16/02/1997
Without You#Versão de Mariah Carey 00:00 16/11/1996
When I Saw You 04:24 03/12/1995
I Am Free 03:09 03/12/1995
Always Be My Baby 04:18 03/12/1995
Open Arms 03:30 03/12/1995
Looking In 03:35 03/12/1995
One Sweet Day 04:42 03/12/1995
Daydream Interlude 03:04 03/12/1995
Underneath the Stars 03:33 03/12/1995
Forever 04:00 03/12/1995
Fantasy 04:04 03/12/1995
Melt Away 03:42 03/12/1995
Long Ago 04:33 03/12/1995
All I Want for Christmas Is You 04:01 01/11/1994
Jesus Oh What a Wonderful Child 04:26 01/11/1994
Silent Night 03:41 01/11/1994
Hark! The Herald Angels Sing 03:01 01/11/1994
Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town 03:24 01/11/1994
Jesus Born on This Day 03:43 01/11/1994
Joy to the World 04:21 01/11/1994
Miss You Most 04:32 01/11/1994
Christmas 02:35 01/11/1994
O Holy Night 04:27 01/11/1994
God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen 01:18 01/11/1994
Music Box 04:57 17/08/1993
Anytime You Need a Friend 04:26 17/08/1993
All I've Ever Wanted 03:51 17/08/1993
Hero 04:19 17/08/1993
I've Been Thinking About You 04:48 17/08/1993
Dreamlover 03:54 17/08/1993
Just to Hold You Once Again 03:59 17/08/1993
Without You 03:36 17/08/1993
Never Forget You 03:46 17/08/1993
Now That I Know 04:19 17/08/1993
I'll Be There 04:42 02/06/1992
You're So Cold 05:05 1992
The Wind 04:41 1992
So Cold 05:05 17/09/1991
If It's Over 04:38 17/09/1991
Make It Happen 05:07 17/09/1991
Can't Let Go 04:27 17/09/1991
And You Don't Remember 04:27 17/09/1991
Emotions 04:08 17/09/1991
Till the End of Time 05:35 17/09/1991
To Be Around You 04:37 17/09/1991
So Blessed 04:13 17/09/1991
There's Got to Be a Way (remix de 7 00:00 06/05/1991
Don't Play That Song 00:00 20/03/1991
Vision of Love 03:28 12/06/1990
Sent from Up Above 04:05 12/06/1990
You Need Me 03:51 12/06/1990
Alone in Love 04:11 12/06/1990
All in Your Mind 04:43 12/06/1990
Vanishing 04:11 12/06/1990
Someday 04:06 12/06/1990
I Don't Wanna Cry 04:47 12/06/1990
Love Takes Time 03:48 12/06/1990
There's Got to Be a Way 04:53 12/06/1990
Prisoner 04:22 12/06/1990

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Mariah Carey", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.